Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick by Deb Marlowe

Unbuttoning Miss HardwickUnbuttoning Miss Hardwick by Deb Marlowe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's been a long time since I became so fascinated by characters in a novella, Deb Marlowe created two heartbreaking characters, with their pasts that haunt them and weight heavy on their present. Living behind masks that protect them from the world. It's until them meet one another does the ice that encases their hearts slowly start to melt.

Chloe Hardwick hides behind her clothing and being helpful to those around her, as those who has cared for her has sadly abandoned her without showing her about love. On the other hand : Braedon, Marquess of Marland has emotional scars from his childhood that has case a dark cloud over his life that causes him to be cold to those, with his only passion of being a collector of swords. He finds "Hardwick" nothing more then someone who has helps him with his collection a efficient assistant and obtaining the cursed Skanda's Spear. As time passes Chole slowly starts to fall in love with Braedon and the glimpses she sees behind the his icy mask. Chole wants Bradeon to see "Chole" and not "Hardwick" so she starts on her on journey of trying to discover who she is. Braedon is floored with the change in Chole but still wants her help to find the spear, but with Chole's change also starts Braedon's.

I loved Chole, she was a woman on a mission, finding her true self, and her discovery of herself is a wonderful journey to be on with her. It's her new inner strength that helps not only herself, but Braedon come to terms with the things that has happen in their lives. Chole I felt grew the most in the book, setting the path for her and Braedon, but accepting the gift of understanding from another battered soul in Braedon.

Braedon is a man scarred emotionally by the actions of his Brother and his Father. The few pieces given to us are enough to see what kind of bad environment he and his sister grew up with. With his sister she acts out, while he hides behind his icy mask that protects him from all harm, a numbness that cloaked him when he was younger. Breadon has a great heart, and it's shown countless of times in the small things he does and shows. It takes alot of time for him to come to terms with everything, which for me was realistically as some scars never truly heal, but we survive and move on and let go of the pain.

Seeing these two characters, be changed by one another actions, and their own actions and feelings just had me at awed to know what would happen next between them. The growing tension was truly passion filled but was at the same time a tug of war between trust and old hurts.

These old hurts at times did come to get on my nerves, mostly with Braedon with his one step forward two step back dance with Chole, a the sudden focus on the cursed Spear did halter the story- but it's that finally leap of faith for our couple that makes it all that more worth while.

This was a truly beautifully done character driven novella, that capture and held my attention but earned it's place on my keeper shelf and heart.

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